Florentine Sable

There is a reason that nuts and chocolate are a timeless sweet combination, they just work. If something ain’t broke and so on and so forth. Florentine Sable is a prime example of this. A short, crumbly biscuit base covered with the delicious almond topping reminiscent of a florentine treat. 

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Ingredients:

Chocolate Sable Base

1. 250g Plain flour

2. 50g Cocoa powder

3. 185g Unsalted butter, softened 

4. 140g Icing sugar (Sieved)

5. 25g Whole egg

Florentine Topping

1. 20 ml Whipping cream

2. 65g Unsalted butter

3. 65g Caster Sugar

4. 65g Liquid glucose

5. 130g Flaked almonds

6. 20g ground Almonds

Method:

1. Firstly make the sable dough. Do this well in advance so there is time for it to rest and chill in the fridge. So, cream together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy. 

2. Gradually add in the egg and then fold in the flour and cocoa powder until it is just incorporated. If you over mix the biscuit base will be tough.

3. Roll the dough out into a flat disk and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour.

4. Once the dough has been chilled roll it out to fit a 9×13 cm tin and pierce the dough lightly with a fork. ( This will allow the air to escape while cooking so the dough won’t rise.

5. Chill the dough in the tin for a further 30 minutes. At this point preheat the oven at 180C.

6. Bake the dough for about 20 minutes.

7. Whilst the dough is baking make the topping. In a pan put the cream, butter, sugar and glucose and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the almonds. 

8. Once the dough has been baking for 20 minutes remove from the oven and increase the temperature to 200C. Pour the almond mix on the base and cook for a further 10 minutes until golden. 

9. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before cutting into 2×2 cm squares. 

10. Enjoy more than one with a glass of cold milk!

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Christmas ginger snaps

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This recipe is so festive it felt bizarre making them at such an early stage back in the first week of December. Although I didn’t regret eating them one little bit. Neither did my grand mother who they were a gift for.

ImageGinger snaps are quick, easy and are a biscuit with a long legacy so most people enjoy them even if its just for nostalgic purposes. Even if the recipient isn’t to sure to begin with the white chocolate coating will soon persuade them.

Ingredients:

1 Ib 4oz Plain flour

15oz Brown sugar

1 1/2 C Vegetable oil

1/4 Black trecle

1/4 cup Golden Syrup

2 eggs

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

1/2 C sugar (to roll in)

1Ib 8oz  white chocolate for decoration

Holiday sprinkles

Directions:

1.Combine brown sugar, eggs, molasses; mix well.

2. Slowly add the oil, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, clovesand mix well.

3. Add the flour a quarter at a time and mix well between each addition.

4. Using a small cookie scoop make balls, roll in sugar and place on  cookie sheets.

5.Bake the ginger snaps for 10 minutes and the  tops will crack.

6. Cool on rack. Melt the chocolate over a bain-marie, then using a spoon to help cover each cookie half way, place on waxed paper.

7. Decorate with the sprinkles of your choice and let dry completely.

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Notes:

– If you want more of a snap, bake the cookies for one or two minutes longer.

– I chilled my dough over night but I don’t know whether this is necessary because the recipe does not call for butter.

Recipe source: http://www.skiptomylou.org/2012/12/22/festive-ginger-snap-cookies/

 

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Rolo chocolate cookies

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You could eat a cookie. Then you could eat a Rolo. Or you could even put them both in you mouth at the same time. But this post is on a whole other level. Chocolate cookie with a melted, chewy rolo centre. There is nothing to dislike. I first made this recipe when I moved to London as a house warming present for well um, myself. It’s a crowd pleaser and all of the people in your who aren’t addicted to food blogs with find this novel.

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Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cocoa
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Bag of Rolo candies, unwrapped
Sugar (for rolling the cookie dough balls in)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 190C/375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.

2. In a bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa.

3. With a mixer, cream butter and sugars together until smooth. Add in eggs, one at a time. Next, add in vanilla extract. Mix until blended.

4. Slowly add flour mixture to sugar mixture and blend well. Take a spoonful of chocolate cookie dough and wrap around one Rolo candy. Make sure Rolo is completely covered with cookie dough. Roll dough ball in sugar and place on prepared baking sheet. Continue until you run out of cookie dough.

5. Bake cookies for 7-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit on cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes. Move to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Source: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/rolo-cookies/

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Chocolate Peanut butter fudge.

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Liz. She’s my best friend. And flatmate. And the only person I know that has a sweeter tooth than me.

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Queue a present that she can really get on board with: Peanut butter and chocolate fudge squares. This is a really rather easy, no baking required recipe which I think makes a really good, simple home made gift. At least for Liz anyway. I’ve slightly adapted the recipe from one of Nigella’s. I found that when I made it the first time the fudge was too crumbly.

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So go ahead, try out this recipe, skip out the gift part and eat the whole tray yourself!

Ingredients:

Base:

7oz Smooth peanut butter

7oz Icing sugar

2oz Softened butter

50z Reese’s pieces

Top:

7oz Milk chocolate

3.5oz Plain chocolate

1 tbs Butter.

Directions:

1. Line and 8×8 inch square tin.

2. Place Peanut butter, softened butter and icing sugar in a mixer and blend until the mix is evenly combined. Then Stir in the Reese’s pieces.

3. Tip the mixture into the tin and smooth it out packing it quite tightly.

4. In a bain-marie melt both chocolates and the butter. Even spread over the peanut butter base and place in the fridge until set.

5. Remove from the fridge and cut into squares.

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Notes:

-The fudge will be easier to cut if you turn it upside down first.

– You don’t need a blender to make the base, it will work just as well with a bowl and a spoon. (Just a little more elbow grease is required!)

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Hot chocolate pear puddings

Yield: 4 Ramekins

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Whilst it isn’t the first flavour pairing (sorry, I couldn’t help it) that comes to mind, it is a sweet and subtle one that should probably be used more often.

These little desserts are sweet and warming, especially as the weather cools down. The softened pear and gooey chocolate will not disappoint you.

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Ingredients:

3oz Butter

3oz Caster sugar

2 eggs

1oz Cocoa

3oz Self-raising flour

¼tsp baking powder

4 small pears

Icing sugar for dusting

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 180ºC/350F

2. Lightly butter four ramekins.

3. Cream together butter and sugar until blended. Beat in the eggs in slowly a little bit at a time. Then add the cocoa and beat again.

4.Quickly fold in flour and baking powder.

5. Divide mixture between the four ramekins.

6. Finally Cut base off each pear, making it stable. Press a pear into the middle of each ramekin and bake in the oven for 16 minutes.

 

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Bad ass banoffee.

Banana and toffee. Let’s jam some other words together. Rasty… Really Tasty. Er… So good- Sood.

What am I doing? I’m clearly not very good at this. I’m better at actually making a banoffee pie.

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This recipe is a combination of a few I have used in the past. And it has definitely been my best attempt to date. Most recently made for a person who claims that it is their all time favourite dessert. Oh look well now the banoffee pie and myself are precariously balancing on a pedestal. I think we are managing to both stay perched there, at least for now.

The only downside to this dessert is the fact that it doesn’t seem to really lend itself to being aesthetically pleasing. But holy crow does it taste good!

Ingredients:

Base:

7 oz digestive biscuits

3.5 oz melted butter

Filling:

3.5 oz butter

3.5 oz soft light brown sugar

A can of condensed milk

300ml double cream, whipped

2 ripe bananas

Chocolate and banana to decorate.

Directions:

1. Crush biscuits until them resemble crumbs

2. Melt the butter and stir into biscuits. Mould the mixture into a 8inch spring from tin, ensuring that you work the mix up the sides. refrigerate the crust until firm.

3. For the filling, melt the butter and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Add the condensed milk and heat on a rolling boil for 1 minute. MAKE SURE YOU USE A NON STICK SAUCE PAN.

4. Place the filling in the crust and  place sliced banana on top. Then return the pie back to the fridge until the caramel has set.

5. When you are ready to severe your banoffee pie, remove it from the spring form tin and cover the top in whipped cream.

6. Finally decorate with chocolate shavings and banana.

Notes:

-make sure you do boil the caramel for a minute, otherwise it won’t set.

-to keep your banoffee pie looking fresh, decorate the top with crushed banana chips as opposed to fresh banana.

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Rhyme or Raisin

Raisin Cookies

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I’m currently working in a preschool class. Every time the pupils have to perform any collective task they all sing it to the tune of Frere Jaques. Its slowly driving me around the twist. Not that that particular venture has anything to do with this post, I’m just a sucker for a pun.

In other, not such irrelevant news, here’s a recipe for raisin cookies. Its particularly lush because I soaked the raisins to prevent them burning in the oven.

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Ingredients:

4oz Butter

4oz Brown sugar

2.5oz Caster sugar

6.75oz Plain flour

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Salt

1 Egg

Drop of Vanilla extract

6oz White chocolate chips

Directions:

1. In a pan heat the butter until it has all melted.

2. Remove from the heat and whisk in both the sugars until no lumps remain.

3. Let the butter/ sugar mixture cool for 5 minutes before beating in the egg and vanilla extract.

4. Then, combine the dry ingredients and add them to the warm mix.

5. Once the mixture has cooled, add the chocolate chips and refrigerate.

6. When the dough has firmed up slightly, use a cookie scoop to create balls of dough, then freeze them.

7. Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F. Line the cookie balls on the sheet and bake from frozen until the edges are golden brown. (About 10mins, but check after 8)

8. Allow cookies to cool for at least 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling wrack.

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Enjoy!

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Flapjacks.

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Chocolate, coconut and sultana flapjacks to be more precise.

I don’t really have a passion for food via a plethora of nostalgic memories of cooking with my mother or grandmother (not that they aren’t sterling chefs), that’s just not how I got the baking bug. I’m no Nigel Slater when it comes to toast, I prefer it slightly burnt and occasionally cold. Having said all that, flapjacks are one of my earliest food memories, or rather there being not enough chocolate and too many sultanas on the ones I was presented with. So in later life I learned how to appreciate mass amounts of dried fruit and made sure I made up for the lack of chocolate in my early years. Thus coming up with this flapjack recipe of my own.

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Ingredients:

1. 7oz Butter

2.7oz Soft light brown sugar

3. 2tbs Golden Syrup

4. 12.3oz Porridge oats

5. 3.5oz Dark chocolate, roughly broken in to small pieces

6. 3.5oz Sultanas

7. 4tbs desiccated coconut

Directions:

1. Line a 8×8 baking tin with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F

2. Melt the butter in a pan and then add the sugar and golden syrup. Keep on a medium-low heat until the sugar has fully dissolved.

3. Place the oat in a large bowl and stir in the sugar mixture. Leave to cool for 10 minutes to ensure the chocolate does not melt.

4. Fold in the chocolate, sultanas and coconut.

5. Place the mix in your baking tray and press down slightly (this will ensure the flapjacks will hold their form when you cut them).

6. Place in the centre of the oven and bake until the edges turn a golden brown colour (15-20 mins).

7. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Then cut the flapjacks into squares or rectangles and leave to cool fully in the tin before you remove them.

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White Chocolate chip Cookies

Yield: Approx 2 dozen

Cookies, Millie’s cookies to be precise, are the best cookies in existence. There’s no ‘in my opinion’ need in that statement. It’s pretty much gospel. So obviously being able to recreate them in your own kitchen makes you saint.

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The recipe for these cookies are slightly unconventional is the fact that there is no creaming method when it comes to the sugar and butter, but this works… awesomely.

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Ingredients:

4oz Butter

4oz Brown sugar

2.5oz Caster sugar

6.75oz Plain flour

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Salt

1 Egg

Drop of Vanilla extract

6oz White chocolate chips

Directions:

1. In a pan heat the butter until it has all melted.

2. Remove from the heat and whisk in both the sugars until no lumps remain.

3. Let the butter/ sugar mixture cool for 5 minutes before beating in the egg and vanilla extract.

4. Then, combine the dry ingredients and add them to the warm mix.

5. Once the mixture has cooled, add the chocolate chips and refrigerate.

6. When the dough has firmed up slightly, use a cookie scoop to create balls of dough, then freeze them.

7. Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F. Line the cookie balls on the sheet and bake from frozen until the edges are golden brown. (About 10mins, but check after 8)

8. Allow cookies to cool for at least 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling wrack.

Notes:

– the cooler the dough the more successful your cookies will be

– if you are baking your cookies in batches then make sure the baking sheet is completely cool for every batch you cook

– try adding something other than chocolate chips, try soaked raisins, or m&ms.

 

Raspberry and Vanilla Ripple Cake

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Yield: 2 6-inch cakes

Made this cake for a friends birthday. She’s a girl. This cake is pink and sparkly. But don’t go thinking this cake is pink and sparkly because its for a girl. This is the 21st century don’t be so backwards. I just think it looks kick ass.

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The recipe for the sponge is a butter cake came from the Miette recipe book. Its a really useful book and goes into great detail with out overwhelming the reader. Skipping back to the book every 5 seconds is not a problem with this book.

The only downside with Miette is the fact that recipes for the cakes usually make 2 smaller 6 inch cakes as opposed to an 8 inch one. This probably isn’t the book to use if you’re baking for a crowd, or a gaggle, or a colony.

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The inspiration for the icing came from this website, I feel that I am baker is a lot better at explaining the method, so I will leave it with her! In fact all of her tutorials are awesome, so check them out!

Butter Cake Sponge:

Ingredients:

8 oz Plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

7 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature

7 oz sugar

10 large egg yolks, at room temperature

2/3 cup buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Grease and line the bottom of two 6 inch cake pans. Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F

2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.

3. Place the butter and sugar in a bowl (you can use a stand or hand mixer) and beat until its pale and fluffy. (About 10 minutes)

4. Add the egg yolks bit by bit, making sure the mixture has fully emulsified after each addition.

5. Combine the buttermilk and vanilla.

6. Add the flour mix to the creamed mixture in additions, alternating with the buttermilk.

7. Make sure the batter is completely combined (be careful not to over mix)

8. Divide between the two pans and bake in the middle of the oven until a skewer inserted comes out clean. (About 30- 40 mins)

9. Remove from oven and allow the cakes to cool in tins slightly before removing them from the pans.

10. Allow to cool completely before layering them.

Frosting:

Ingredients:

17oz Icing sugar

5.5 oz butter, room temperature

50ml whole milk

few drops of vanilla

Directions:

1. Beat the softened butter

2. Add the icing sugar in stages

3. Ad the milk and vanilla bit by bit

4. Add any desired colour.

Finish the Cake however you like, to get a design similar to mine divide the cake in to layers, placing frosting between the layers and once you have given the cake a crumb coat and iced the top follow the I am Baker Link above.

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